Former Super League boss suggests England star could make positional switch

For players who performed at the recent World Cup most are still recovering and haven’t attended their club pre-season training as Super League sides have found with southern hemisphere stars spending Christmas back home, the same applies to English stars in the NRL.

One of those star players is Herbie Farnworth who plays his club rugby for Brisbane Broncos and recently helped England to the semi-final of the World Cup.

Farnworth typically plays centre but his coach has thrown speculation that he could slot in at full-back this season following the retirement of David Mead and transfer of Te Maire Martin to New Zealand Warriors.

His coach is Kevin Walters, who briefly coached Catalans in from 2009 to 2010 before serving as an assistant in the NRL and then being handed the top job with Brisbane in 2020.

Farnworth is one of the versatile backs at Brisbane and the 23-year-old featured prominently for England in that semi-final loss scoring two tries but he hasn’t returned back to Australia since the game, something former Catalans coach and now Brisbane boss Kevin Walters noted.

“Herbie – we can’t find Herbie, he’s in England somewhere. When he gets back to training next year we’ll give him some reps in that position as well,” Walters said, per The Daly Telegraph.

Farnworth has played his whole career at Brisbane and impressed throughout earning Brisbane’s rookie of the year award in 2020 and following it up with the side’s Allan Langar Award for the best back.

Despite those credentials youngster Reece Walsh is the likely man to step in to fill the role but without Farnworth taking reps at the position Walters is still undecided.

“Reece (Walsh) is still only a young footballer and learning about the NRL, but he’s been a great acquisition for us,” Walters said. “His voice has been strong and he’s quite a strong character as well, so that’s been a positive.

“His energy around the place is very infectious… his combinations he’s working in with our spine has been really positive, both in defence and attack.”

Another candidate is Selwyn Cobbo making the full-back slot a three horse race as the Broncos head into the season.

“You might notice at training Selwyn slots in there (at fullback), because we believe he’s got a big future there as well.

“Primarily he’s on the wing, but in the future we see him as a centre and possibly a fullback, so it’s about getting the reps in.”

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